Thursday, June 17, 2010

Musings on sacrificing family for job...

I've worked in IT a long time.  I've sacrificed a lot, and my family has too, for my career to go the way it has been...pretty much every time I've had a major job change, I've had to move to take the job.  This job is no different.  My family may yet move for me to take a permanent job here, or my new permanent employer may decide to send me someplace else after my initial contract here is done. 

It's the reality of being a consultant-for-hire, regardless of the field.  I liken what I and my family are dealing with akin to serving in the military in terms of the time away from family.  I go out someplace for work, and eventually my family follows me...but I sincerely hope that this won't be the norm for our lives as my little girl grows up...that by the time she is school-age we can pick a place to settle.

I really hate contract work.  And I don't hate it because of the work itself...I actually greatly enjoy the work aspect of contracting.  I hate the travel...I hate the time away from family.  I hate how temporary life feels, when it seems like your real life is going on without you back home and you're stuck in exile. 

When I told folks where I was going and why I wasn't taking little bit with me immediately, the reaction was typically, "Oh I could NEVER do that..."

Now I will ask:  Why?

Yes, it hurts...yes it is painful and difficult being away from everything you know, your friends and family.  Yes, money doesn't make up for everything.  But an opportunity is an opportunity.  And the thing I keep telling myself over and over is that this is temporary.  If we didn't need the money this will bring is so badly, I wouldn't have even considered the job.

I got much the same reaction when I moved for my prior job.  We lived there three years and made many friends who remain close.  It wasn't easy, and I questioned when I first started whether or not I'd done the right thing...those three years were some of the happiest in my life. 

I have to give this the chance it deserves...despite my reservations.  Who knows?  In a few months I may be writing that my family is moving out here...or that my employer decided to send me back West, where all our family is.

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